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The Delta variant and South Africa’s vaccination problems

- Ozayr Patel with Shabir A. Madhi

Pasha 113: The Covid-19 resurgence in South Africa is likely to take a heavy toll. It is important for vaccination efforts to be ramped up.

The Delta variant of SARS-COV-2 – the virus that causes Covid-19 – is spreading across South Africa, sparking a strong resurgence of infections. The president has placed the country under stricter regulations in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus. Gauteng province, the country’s economic hub, where 25% of the population live, is the epicentre. It’s likely many more people will be hospitalised in the coming weeks and some will die. Severe disease usually lags behind infections in the community by about two to three weeks.

Based on what happened in India, the number of cases is expected to decrease gradually. That is dependent on people adhering to lockdown restrictions. And South Africa’s vaccination strategy needs to be reviewed. In today’s episode of Pasha, Shabir A. Madhi, a professor of vaccinology and director of the SAMRC Vaccines and Infectious Diseases Analytical Research Unit at the University of the Witwatersrand, discusses the flaws in South Africa’s vaccine rollout.